Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Best Social Documentaries: Start A Social Awareness Group

A Powerful Noise (featuring Aeone on Vocals)A remarkable friend of mine approached me with an idea to start a social awareness group in our area. (A great tool for starting a new group in your area is )

At first, I didn't understand what the group would really be about, so she explained: It would be a group to talk safely about hot social topics that may be uncomfortable, important, relevant or sensitive.

The hope for the group would be to have an expert, or a person who was one, come and speak about an issue. Issues could range from social issues around the world to personal issues affecting your group members. Everyone would be free to ask questions because it is a safe environment. All have an understanding that no judgement is passed, but just about understanding.

If, from this group, we come up with something that we could do about the social issues discussed, that would be great. This could include volunteer work, fundraising, voting, petitioning, writing, teaching, etc.

My friend said that she is a community mobilizer by nature, but sometimes it is more appropriate to allow a person to internalize the topic and see what they are personally being told to do as a result of the knowledge they've gained. Maybe it's to start a program or be involved politically. Maybe it's simply not to make jokes about a certain group of people anymore or to befriend someone they know who reminds them of the situation they learned about.

She believes that knowledge requires some kind of action and that's the price we pay/ the honor we have for obtaining it. She thinks that's what makes us have a life rather than to simply exist on earth. We need to go forth and make the world better somehow.

The social awareness group would revolve around someone who has an interesting story, they would share and the group would learn, or the group could also see a movie or read a book on a specific topic...

Ideally, the group would touch issues that people have firsthand experience in. She asserts that it is liberating to tell your story. She says that has been the case for her in her own life. She said that often times people don't like to wear their history on their sleeve - which is good. Our identity shouldn't be determined by something that we survived or overcame, but it is helpful to share in a safe environment.

So the group's purpose is to invite people to share their significant stories with a group in a safe setting, or in place of a speaker the group could share a DVD on a social topic important to the group and discuss it.

She suggested the DVD: A Walk to Beautiful.

Other Dvds  I thought of are:

The One Percent
A Powerful Noise
Call + Response
The Price of Sugar
Life for Sale
Pray the devil back to hell
Breaking the bank
The Women of Brukman
I am Because We Are
Black Bus
After Innocence
Women (2007)
Till Death Do Us Part (2008)
HBO: Addiction
Frontline: The Tank Man
Blue Gold: World Water Wars
In Her Place: A Documentary History of Prejudice Against Women
A State of Mind
It Was a Wonderful Life
Raising Cain
The Devil Came on Horseback
Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire
Frontline: Growing Up Online
The Listening Project
Lost Boys of Sudan
Seoul Train
The Corporation
The End of Suburbia
A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash
God Grew Tired of Us
The Fog of War
Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
War Dance
The Yes Men Fix the World
The End of Poverty? (Progress vs. Property)
China Rises: Behind the Great Wall
Angels in the Dust
Triage: Dr. James Orbinski's Humanitarian Dilemma

Please add a recommendation in the comments section.

This idea for a group is just another way you can make a difference!


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